Poetry makes patterns with words, happens out loud, explains, has magic powers and describes the way we feel. It's even good to eat!
The Poetry Society's Schools' Pack, produced in association with the Forward Poetry Trust and the World Wide Fund for Nature, uses a selection of poems to illustrate these and the many other qualities of verse. Packs are being sent to all schools and FE colleges - 36,000 copies in all.
Designed to celebrate the third National Poetry Day on October 10, it includes poems by Allan Ahlberg, Charles Causley, Wendy Cope, Michael Rosen, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Jenny Joseph, Roger McGough and Grace Nichols. Each one is accompanied by plenty of thought-provoking questions and activities for both primary and secondary pupils.
Following on from the success of last year's National Poetry Day, when Rudyard Kipling's "If" was voted the nation's favourite, this year's event will inspire an array of events and readings. "This year every school should have some kind of participation," said William Sieghart, chairman of Forward Publishing and the day's organiser.
"We are going to try to get every kid in the country to write, read or learn a poem on the day. Until the age of seven or eight, kids are very open and enthusiastic about poetry - then they start to get embarrassed. But often when kids are going through big things in their life poetry can be the best way of dealing with it."
Schools who have not received their poetry pack by the end of term should contact the Poetry Society; tel: 0171 240 4810.